13th november 2006
. . . Paul gathered whelks.
From the cold triangular pools he gathered handfulls
And put them in his basket.
He sang Dominus Pascit Me, gathering whelks.
Twenty seals lay on the skerry.
They turned their faces towards the psalm.
The brother sang for them also,
For the seals with their beautiful gentle old men's faces.
Then the ebb subtracted one sound
From the seven-fold harmony of the ocean.
The tide lay slack, between ebbing and flowing, a slipped girdle.
Paul gathered whelks and sang
Till the flood set in from the west, with a sound like harps,
And one by one the seals entered the new water.

- from George Mackay Brown, Horseman and Seals